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I was winning when I met your gaze . . .

So begins the confession of Gwendolen Harleth: dazzling beauty, wilful vivant and gambler of hearts: who bet her strength against her cruel husband, staked it all on the love of Daniel Deronda, and played her way back to a winning hand.

With the profound insight of her acclaimed biographies, Diana Souhami fashions a real life for this most mercurial and magnetic of literary heroines, plotting Gwendolen’s course in step with the drama of the age as a pioneer of women’s aspirations in our own.

(P) 2014 WF Howes Ltd